11 Awesome Exterior Wood Siding Ideas

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The exterior of your home is the first impression that visitors and even potential homebuyers will have of your home. For this reason, updating the outside surface of your home can greatly increase curb appeal. Exterior siding is one of the most popular and effective ways to update the exterior of your home and wood exterior is one of the most popular materials for exterior siding. With all of the available wood siding options, choosing the perfect wood siding and or wood siding design for your home can seem overwhelming. We have searched multiple sources to bring you a condensed selection of exterior wood siding ideas to inspire your inner exterior decorator. 

Wood siding, sometimes known as wood cladding, is a wood material covering the surface of the exterior of your home. Siding protects the surface of your home from damage due to weather. Several options exist in material choices for exterior siding, but wood siding is by far the most popular choice in siding material due to its durability and cost-efficiency. We will discuss the following eleven ideas for exterior wood siding in more depth:

  1. Board and batten siding
  2. Charred wood siding
  3. Bi-directional or multi-directional siding
  4. Engineered wood siding
  5. Mix and match siding
  6. Wood siding skirting
  7. Two-toned siding
  8. Clapboard siding
  9. Naturally weathered wood
  10. Wavy cut siding
  11. Wood shingle siding

Wood siding requires regular maintenance and cleaning that can increase costs and time requirements. Some wood siding can attract termites and have a poor rating but also have some benefits over other siding materials. As you will see, wood siding comes in various styles and can be stained or painted in any number of colors. Because it is considered a high-end siding, wood siding increases your home’s value and is quite durable when properly maintained. 

A detailed view of a weathered wooden shingle siding of a house, 11 Awesome Exterior Wood Siding Ideas, 11 Awesome Exterior Wood Siding Ideas

1. Board and batten siding

With its origins dating back over 100 years with barn building, board and batten siding has become a popular trend for modern homes. While this style may be appealing due to its subtle distinct look, it was an idea originally conceived for practical purposes. The look was inspired to cover cracks between wide planks or boards with thin strips of wood or battens. The picture below shows a stained wood board and batten siding, but it can also be painted to add some color to your outdoor space.

A gorgeous landscaping of a rustic country home

2. Charred wood siding

Typically made of cedar planks, charred wood siding originated in China and made its way to North America, where it has recently and quickly gained popularity as a siding material. With its distinct scorched charcoal color, charred wood siding creates a unique exterior look. While cedar is usually the preferred wood for charred wood siding, the charring method can also be applied to several other kinds of wood for a dark modern look. In the example below, this charred wood siding is combined with a lighter stained wood siding for a multi-dimensional look. 

Burning wood creates a carbon byproduct that can add an interesting look when applied to exterior siding. Because of the carbon layer that surrounds the wood, charred wood siding is also called carbonized wood siding. Charring wood is a great way to preserve wood, making it resistant to insects, fire, rot, and water. If refinished every 10 to 15 years, charred wood siding can last upwards of 100 years. 

3. Bi-directional or multi-directional siding

For a fun spin on plain siding, try placing siding in different directions on different parts of your home’s exterior. In the example below, the siding’s horizontal and vertical placement separates the top and bottom floors of this house, but siding can be applied in multiple directions. Different stains and paints can also be used to further separate sections of your home. Try using different shades of the same color for a fun multi-dimensional look.

4. Engineered wood siding

For the strongest, most durable wood siding available, consider engineered wood siding. To create engineered wood siding, small particles of wood are tightly pressed together, bound with resin, and covered in a moisture-resistant material to form an extremely durable siding. Wood-grain markings are etched onto the siding material’s surface to create a more authentic wood appearance. Engineered wood bears a strong resemblance to natural wood, and it is difficult to tell the two apart from a distance. 

A detailed view of wooden painted vinyl siding

5. Mix and match siding

There is no need to stick to just one type of on the exterior of your home with so many different options. Mixed textures and colors can add the perfect touch to any surface or space. Pairing different wood siding materials such as traditional painted siding with wood-shingled siding, for example, can add a fun decorative touch to your home’s exterior. This warm and cool mixture of grey and warm brown contrasting shades pictured in the example below combine for a contemporary cabin feel.

Exterior of a modern rustic home with gray and wooden vinyl sidings

6. Wood siding skirting

Installing wood siding on the lower portion of the surface of your home is known as skirting. This method of siding placement is another option for two-toned siding. In the example pictured below, this neutral-colored home is brightened up with this warm stained wood siding skirting. Wood siding skirting can be combined with various home exterior materials for unique looks.

Exterior design of a modern country home with vinyl sidings, brick base, and a red front door

7. Two-toned siding

Similarly, to mix and match the siding, two-toned siding can give your home a distinctive modern look.  Two-toned siding can be used to draw the eye to a specific area of your home. In the example below, the lighter shade of siding used on the upper portion of the home draws the eye to the top level. Using more similar colors in a lighter shade at the top and a darker shade on the lower level can also make your home look taller. 

Luxurious exterior of a two storey farmhouse with vinyl sidings, weathered shingles, and a huge driveway

8. Clapboard siding

Clapboard siding also, referred to as weatherboard, bevel siding, or lap siding, has a horizontal overlapping appearance from the bottom portion of the siding plank overlapping the next plank’s top. The distinct appearance of clapboard siding originates from Colonial times when homeowners would protect their home from the outside weather using thin planks of siding overlapping one another to keep out the elements. In the example below, this cool green clapboard siding provides a clean, classic look. 

9. Naturally weathered wood

Natural wood siding can add a warm neutral touch to the exterior of your home. When left to weather naturally, some wood siding can take on a silvery grey appearance that gives your home a contemporary rustic feel. This unique shade can be combined with virtually any other color for a weathered look. In the example below, the greyish weathered wood siding is combined with warm earth tones for a warm aged look.

10. Wavy cut siding

Wavy cut siding sometimes referred to as wavy bevel, is another siding option for the exterior of your home. As its name suggests, wavy cut siding has wavy, uneven edges that can add an edgy look to your home’s exterior. For a unique woodsy feel, wavy cuts of siding overlap each other for this wild and natural look. In the picture below, this wavy cut pine creates the ambiance of a log cabin with pizzaz.

11. Wood shingle siding

Due to more detailed labor, wood shingle siding is one of the more expensive wood siding options. For a smaller textured natural wood look, wood shingle siding can give the exterior of your home a quaint cottage ambiance. Wood shingle siding can be painted or stained to add color to your home’s exterior. This wood shingle siding adds texture and warmth to this home’s cool green traditional siding in the example below.

A huge two storey house with green sidings, weathered shingle roofing, and small narrow windows

Final thoughts

The outside of your home should reflect your own personal tastes and style. Exterior wood siding can be a great way to update your home’s exterior, providing color, texture, and decorative detail. We hope that we have inspired some ideas for your home’s exterior and given you some ideas that you may not have considered.

Before you go, be sure to check out these other home decor guides that may be of interest to you:

How Wide Are Battens On Board-And-Batten Siding?

How Long Does Wood Siding Last?

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